UPDATE: Multiple outlets are reporting that Franken will resign.
Minnesota Public Radio reports:
Minnesota Democrat Al Franken, facing fresh allegations of sexual misconduct and vanishing support from fellow Democrats, appears to be on the brink of resigning from the Senate.
A Democratic official who spoke to Franken and key aides told MPR News Franken will resign Thursday. He’s expected to make a speech from the Senate floor at 10:45AM Central time. MPR News will carry live coverage on air and online.
After MPR News reported the planned resignation, a tweet from Franken’s official account said it was “not accurate.” “No final decision has been made,” the tweet also said.
I’ll bump this post back to the top of the page a few minutes before Franken is due to speak.
From the Twin Cities Pioneer Press:
If U.S. Sen. Al Franken resigns Thursday, the leading speculation is that Lt. Gov. Tina Smith would be Gov. Mark Dayton’s choice to replace Franken. It’s speculation, but it’s informed. The case for Smith was already being prepared this week by various interests that want Dayton to appoint her, should Franken resign. Whoever Dayton’s choice would be, she would very likely be a she, many believe.
But her appointment would carry with it complications — not the least of which would be that a prominent Republican would suddenly ascend into Dayton’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor administration. Under the Minnesota Constitution, a vacancy in the lieutenant governor’s seat is automatically filled by the president of the state Senate, according to a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office who ran the scenario by a state lawyer Wednesday.
That would mean Sen. Michelle Fishbach, a Republican from Paynesville, would become lieutenant governor — and the next in line for the governor’s seat should something befall Dayton. Dayton, who is 70, has had his share of health problems, but has insisted will be “robust” in his fulfilling his duties through the end of his term a year from now.
Back in January, Dayton collapsed at the podium and struck his head while delivering his State Of The State address.
Senator Franken is scheduled to deliver a speech from the Senate floor at 11:45 AM ET.
— Sen. Al Franken (@SenFranken) December 7, 2017